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At The Beach In Puerto Rico January 31, 2011

Posted by Michael in Art.
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Except, it just doesn’t look right.

The 175 photos that follow look like they might have been taken during the day. But it’s not day. It’s night. The photos are lying, thanks to long exposures that soak in the colorful nightlife.

See the rest at Gizmodo – 175 Photos of Day Taken at Night.

Owl City – Fireflies January 30, 2011

Posted by Michael in Movies.
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Vodpod videos no longer available. 

Mrs. Geezer’s Glass January 29, 2011

Posted by Retired Geezer in Art, Heroes.
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Here’s her latest creation, she finished it today.

There are four types of glass used: Glue Chip, Ice, Bevels and Jewels.

Here she is outside in the cold, wearing her Ruby Slippers.

Notice the Famous Power Lines in the background. They were used on an album cover, just sayin’.

Dave in Texas will turn his monitor on it’s side to view this one.


Book Club – A Confederacy of Dunces – Meat of the Matter (Part II) January 28, 2011

Posted by Cathy in Entertainment, Literature.
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Our Innocent Bystanders Book Club discussion of  A Confederacy of Dunces continues here in Part II, for comments about the remaining chapters of the book.

Help yourself to any/all of these focus questions and share your response:

  1. Ignatius constantly criticizes and deprecates his mother while relying on her to keep his life together. Does she feel the same way about her son?  What does she need from him and what does she get for her pains?
  2. The city of New Orleans plays a central role in the novel, seeming to be a character in and of itself. Could this novel have been set in another American city? Elaborate?
  3. Project Ignatius and Myrna into the future. They are supposed to be in love, but find themselves fighting before ever leaving the city. Will they make it to New York? Can New York survive Ignatius? What possibilities do you see for them?
  4. Ignatius is a virgin, but Myrna declares herself to be sexually uninhibited. Is each telling the truth? Can you see them becoming intimate? Discuss this in light of your own experience or that of a friend’s.
  5. Ignatius thinks of himself as a knight errant seeking to set the modern world in line with his theories of good taste and solid geometry. Are his efforts doomed to failure? Has he chosen his quests unwisely or does the fault lie in his personality? Is the way he views the world askew?
  6. Is Ignatius purely lazy or does his attitude toward work reflect his disdain for the modern world of commerce? Ignatius feels he is an anachronism. Where would he fit in?
  7. Does Ignatius or any other character remind you of someone in real life?  How has your similar real-life ‘character’ helped or impeded your enjoyment of this book?

[Note from Site Administration: At Cathy’s suggestion, Book Club threads are now bookmarked in the sidebar to minimize wear on your scroll wheel.]

The Official SobekPundit Blogger Interview: Iowahawk January 28, 2011

Posted by Sobek in Art, News.
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(Blogger looks like it may have finally given up completely, so I’m moving the old bit over here.)

It is my very great pleasure to present you with the Official SobekPundit Blogger Interview with none other than the illustrious Iowahawk. You may know him best for this screamingly funny T Coddington Van Vorhees VII musings, here, here and here. But I know him best from sifting through his garbage and building miniature models of Star Wars machines from bits and pieces he has thrown away.

Sobek: My hobbies aside, let’s welcome Mr. Iowahawk. Thank you so much for joining us, sir.


Sand Beasts January 27, 2011

Posted by Retired Geezer in Ducks, Handblogging, Heroes.
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These things might be more accurately called Wind Beasts but since I made up the title, I’m sticking with it.

It’s well worth watching the 2.5 minute video, narrated by a girl with a delightful Irish (Scottish ?) accent.

Someone smarter than me, may be able to embed it. It’s on Wimp.com


I like his line:

“What I’ve found about this experience of making new forms of life, is that you discover all the problems which the real Creator must have had, creating this world.”

A Big Effin’ Deal January 27, 2011

Posted by Sobek in News.
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Maybe some of you have read about the unrest in Tunisia.  Most recent news is that the country just issued an arrest warrant for the former president, who fled to Saudi Arabia with his family.

Why should you care?  African dictators get deposed all the time, right?  Because to borrow a phrase from Joe Biden, it’s a Big Effin Deal.  Or it could be, anyway.  It’s a strong enough possibility that I’m genuinely freaked out.

"Game Over." The beginning of the end for the Arab "strong man" dictator?


Best Lip Synch Since Numa Numa January 26, 2011

Posted by Michael in Entertainment.
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Vodpod videos no longer available.


Would-be Cop Killer Achieves Room Temperature January 24, 2011

Posted by Sobek in News.
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Bad Guy walked into a police precinct in Detroit yesterday, carrying a shotgun and a head full of poor decisions.  He opened fire and wounded four being before they brought him down.  Coupla things:

1.  This being Detroit, there’s no way this would have made the news but for the location and the intended victims.  How sad for that city.

2.  I can’t find the article I was reading last night, but all it disclosed was the shooter’s age and gender.  It also said he was carrying a pistol grip shotgun.  Someone in the comments section noted that we knew more about the gun than we did about the shooter.  Of course, a pistol grip does absolutely nothing to affect the lethality of the weapon.  Still, pistol grips sound spooky, right?  So that detail must be relevant to the story somehow.

3.  Also in the comments section, there were a bunch of people arguing that this incident totally demolishes gun rights advocates’ arguments about guns decreasing crime.  After all, they “reasoned,” if the well-trained police officers were all carrying guns, and they couldn’t prevent the shooting, what good does it do to give handguns to untrained citizens?

The ensuing argument reminded me of nothing so much as the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shooting.  Before the bodies were even cold, Americans were arguing that the shooting proved we need more gun control laws, and that we need less.  We have the same arguments popping up here, so maybe it’s a good idea to compare the two situations.

In Virginia, the shooter entered the campus with two pistols, among tens of thousands of students he knew to be unarmed.  He chained himself into a building and spent the next two hours and fifteen minutes on an unhindered killing spree.  The students in Norris Hall heard the sounds of gunfire and had two options: run or hide.  Neither option turned out to be viable, because Cho forced his way into the classrooms, shot his victims, and had enough time to re-visit several rooms and finish off the wounded.  He had more than enough time to fire at least 174 rounds, and no one had any means to stop him.

In Detroit, the full report won’t be finished for a while of course, but as far as I can tell, the attack lasted a couple of minutes at most.  The assailant had the element of surprise, but once that was gone, the officers returned fire and ended the conflict without losing a single officer.

4.  The Comment-Section-Solons are right about one thing: carrying a gun is no guarantee of protection against violence.  But that misses the point.  An armed (and trained!) individual has a much better chance of ending the conflict quickly than the one whose only option is to crawl under a desk.  The faster the shooting stops, the lower the body count.

YouTube – Fallout: Nuka Break January 23, 2011

Posted by Michael in Entertainment, News.
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Vodpod videos no longer available. 

How To Flirt With An Elephant Seal January 22, 2011

Posted by Michael in Entertainment, Nature Shit.
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Thanks to Retired Geezer.

Oops, can’t embed. You’ll have to click through to YouTube.

Too bad the comments there turned into another rancorous Christian/atheist debate.

Book Club – A Confederacy of Dunces – First Impressions January 21, 2011

Posted by Cathy in Art, Literature.
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Since we’re just getting started and some may not have the book in hand yet, this thread is for discussing our first impressions. We’ll have other threads initiated to discuss the meat of the story and concluding thoughts. So, please, gentle readers, do not jump ahead sharing details beyond the opening, forward, and Chapter 1. Thank you.

Help yourself to any/all of these focus questions and share your response:

  1. Was Confederacy of Dunces your first choice in the vote?   If so, why?  If not, why not?
  2. Studying the book cover artist’s portrayal of our main character, Ignatius J. Reilly, designed by Charles Rue Woods, (see picture above) what are your first impressions of our hero?
  3. The title is rendered from a Jonathan Swift quote from  “Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting.”  When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.  What hint or message do you take from this quote as you began your reading?
  4. What impressions of our author, the author’s mother, and Walker Percy do you take away after reading the Forward?
  5. The first chapter of A Confederacy of Dunces is generally thought to be among the funniest in American literature. Do you agree? What other comic novels remind you of this work, which we will call Dunces, for short?